Genetic Disease: The Unwanted Inheritance

Front Cover
John David Rainer
Haworth Press, 1989 - Health & Fitness - 221 pages
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Our knowlege of genetics has increased enormously in the last 30 years. The impact of genetics knowledge and technology has become more extensive as the ability to diagnose prenatal conditions expands to include previously undetectable conditions. In the past, genetic counseling meant looking up risk figures and helping people understand their statistical riskes of having an affected infant. Now there are specific methods, not based on statistics alone, to advice parents that their unborn child is not only at risk, but will actually have a particular disease.

Here is a comprehensive new book on the challenges faced by persons and families who find themselves affected by genetic disease and/or birth defects. Some of the leaders in the field of genetics and genetic counseling, who are themselves challenged by the new information and technology in the field, explore the relatively new specialized area of medicine called genetics.

Genetic Disease: The Unwanted Inheritance highlights the field of genetic counseling and explores its function as a tool to help individuals and families regain control over their lives. Counselors and other medical professions discuss the methods and psychology of counseling, the process, the information the counselor must transmit to and glean from the individual and or family members involved, and guidelines for establishing a productive relationship between counselor and client. Several very informative chapters provide the most recent information available on specific genetic diseases, including Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, muscular dystropy, Down Syndrome, scoliosis, and dwarfism.

The new science of genetics brings into focus many key problems of human existence and human equality. With great sensitivity and compassion, this volume broaches some of the most emotionally charged issues that professionals and families must confront within the context of genetically transmitted diseases--the option of terminating a pregnancy due to a genetic problems and the implications of that choice; dealing with the grief reactions of parents who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or the actual birth of a child with a disability; the psychological impact of genetic disease on individuals and families.

more from mq: draws attention to the psychosocial aspects of genetic diseases that have been overshadowed by the spectacular advances made in technical areas. The focus of attention is the person who deals with the disease, be it the patient, a family member, or a caregiver. Persons are viewed as members of society whose perceptions and actions are influenced not only by factual knowledge but also by their psychological make-up and by the standards of soceity to which they belong. Professions of possible interest in the book include physicians, nurses, genetic counselors, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and medical geneticists.

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